NM Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham deserves high praise for being at the forefront of science-based policy vis-a-vis the pandemic…Probably the only Governor to have previously served as a state’s Secretary of Health. Unfortunately not every community in the state has taken her seriously.
Some places that have an oil revenue based economy still think it is a librul hoax. Other places consider themselves sovereign WRT state government, and to some extent don’t trust the Belagana medicine at any rate. There are also a fair few Dine’ living without running water, which makes it harder to wash your hands.
When I did clinicals on the Zuni reservation, 40 miles south of Gallup, we were told that it was OK to be there during the day, but it was not safe to be out at night. I would usually go there on the weekend to get groceries that I couldn’t get in Zuni, do laundry (the water in Zuni was drinkable, but sulfurous) and maybe see a movie.
Interesting. I’ve only been there during the day, too. Why wasn’t it safe out at night? Was it two or four-legged wildlife they were worried about? It’s not, say, Pine Ridge Reservation, but you can tell driving in from Gallup that some people living there are pretty broke.
Beautiful scenery though. But you can’t eat it.
We didn’t hang around outside the hotel room in Gallup at night. Just stayed long enough to eat some of that weird purplish porridge, visit Richardson’s, Shush Yaz, Perry Null, and one other I can’t remember. Amazing jewelry. Skipped the fry bread but I discovered i love pinon nuts.
Mostly two-legged, although four-legged wildlife can be dangerous as well.
I had one of the best lunches ever at a little hole in the wall called Maria’s Restaurant, which is still open and in the same place. I now know that I had pozole, which is a stew of pulled pork in its own broth, and hot green peppers served on the side.
Another time, they were having some kind of festival at the fairgrounds, and I had another delicious meal, which was a mutton sandwich. It was strips of mutton and a green pepper on frybread. Delicious!
I was there the year after the hantavirus outbreak in 1993, so I’m sure people in Gallup are keeping that in mind regarding this lockdown. We know now that Sin Nombre Disease, which is what it was dubbed, is mainly a summer illness, but we didn’t at the time. Around the same time I was there, a mainstream magazine (don’t remember which one) said that the Navajo medicine men had known for centuries that the deer mouse carried a deadly infectious disease, and ordered that any belongings that came into contact with them be destroyed by burning.
Unlike many places I’ve been, I plan on going back to Gallup some day soon, and getting some more turquoise. Your hole in the wall sounds better than the hotel dining room we did eat at—whether or not Clark Gable stayed there—and I love posole. And green. And red. No idea why I’m supposed to have to choose. Thanks for the tip.
Hanta is a scary as hell virus. I have been paranoid in the past, cleaning up some vacant summer cabins in the Sierras, where I saw what I thought was deer mice shit. I don’t think hantavirus was found in California deer mice, but I sure wasn’t going to find out.
This bug eats the old, and the obese or diabetic. Neither of which are in short supply on the Rez, as you know way better than I do. (Surprisingly healthy kids though, despite the fat. Or at least they can run a bit. We were in Pueblo Santo Domingo, which I guess is called Kewa Pueblo now, looking for jewelry and pots. I didn’t know they were having a fair slash cross country race. We saw a bunch of kids: Natives, about 5’5 tall, and nearly that wide, running to the finish line after some several mile run.)
Weirdly, despite the frequent drunks in Gallup, it didn’t feel that menacing. The drunks and beggars were polite. Probably different if you live there.
There’s a two-part podcast from Medical Mysteries on this. I don’t recall it in detail now, but they included the fact that one of the people trying to figure out what the illness was actually started listening to and sharing info with the medicine men instead of dismissing what they had to say, and it helped solve the mystery. They had valuable information about past outbreaks.